Having strong glutes is the first step but are you using them when you run?!
A professional cyclist has been attending our centre of a while now with various aches and pains along with a fractured femur etc. Now he is looking to get back into running. I spoke to him and said, lets have a look at your technique before you do something stupid like enter a triathlon. He agreed.
So a couple of weeks later, we videoed him running on the treadmill. I tried not to laugh too much but as soon as he saw the video we both found it amusing to watch.
There were several fundamental falls to his technique, mostly the common ones such as low heel height so not activating the hamstrings along with poor arm movement which is limiting his efficiency as well as overstriding (putting an extra breaking force through his body when making contact with the ground).
Then taking a closer look, his pelvic stability looked poor, with a bilateral hip drop as the foot hit the ground. This is usually due to reduced glute strength. I mentioned this to him and he said, it is my job to be strong and I spend 4 hours a weak strengthening this area.
I replied, it isn't just a case of having the strength it is a case of activating the correct muscles so you use them when you are running.
We did 5 mins of changing his movement patterns and getting the right muscles firing when he was running and suddenly his glutes fired up and his pelvis became very stable. Amazing what 5 mins can do for your technique. He now has the hard work of making it last and making it natural. We will be helping him keep improving.
So the top tip is, it's not just about having the strength but you must be using the muscles for you to benefit from it.